I spent most of my weekend staining wood around the basement windows:
As you can see, I had a young helper who was Very Excited about the Prospect of Entering and Exiting the house through The Window instead of the Usual Way (through a door).
Boy, is staining a pain in the ass, what with all the sanding and layers of polyurethane and slim margin for error. I've done staining before, though it's been a while, and I had a definite learning curve this time around. We have two of those big egress windows like in the photo above, and two smaller ones on the west side of the house. I'm not sure what was more awkward - straddling the inside and outside of the egress windows, or twisting my torso on the stepladder to reach all the nooks and crannies of the smaller window.
The bad news: I'm not done yet. The good news: I'm at least 75% of the way there. I've got one small window to go, which at this point is totally inaccessible because there's a bunch of not-yet-installed drywall leaning against it (the drywall guy has flaked on us three times in a row, and I'm starting to get peeved), and there's also the wood directly surrounding the glass in the big windows. I've got this process down to a science, though. I'm pretty sure I can handle it.
Between all the window work this weekend and keeping an eye on the kids, I didn't get much of a break to do anything. Stuart and I both baked a bunch of bread today, which is kind of a long story in itself, but since we had too much, I decided to take an extra loaf to a friend in the neighborhood while my husband was giving the kids a much-needed bath. I wanted to share our bounty, but mostly I wanted to get out of the house by myself for a little bit. "I'll be back in 20 minutes," I said as I walked out the door, but we both knew that was a lie.
First I stopped by a neighbor's house around the corner to look at their new raised garden beds, which happen to be exactly like I want to do in our front yard. So I poked around and asked questions while he spread the dirt and watched his two-year-old play in the drivers' seat of their car. Then I stopped by the next house to drop off a couple dollars for the not-quite-dozen eggs I'd picked up earlier in the day (I LOVE having a friend around the corner who raises hens! Incidentally, she has named them all after British royalty.). Finally I made my way up the hill and past the park and around a couple more corners to my original destination and found that the recipient of my bread was in the middle of a dinner party. As it happened, I know or at least am acquainted with all of her guests, and when she asked me to stay for tea and dessert, it just seemed plain rude to turn her down. I even admitted out loud I wasn't quite ready to go home yet...so I stayed. My 20-minute errand had turned into an hour-plus walk through the neighborhood. It was lovely, and just what I needed.
This week the sun is finally shining. I'm going to clean my house and build those garden beds. Golly, I love spring.